A St. John’s Women’s Basketball Team Built On Experienced Veterans

Joe Tartamella and the St. John’s Women’s Basketball team rely on new and familiar upperclassmen in the 2022-2023 season.

Fifth year Kadaja Bailey is one of many players stepping into a leadership position for the Johnnies this season.
Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

Whether the St. John’s Women’s Basketball team’s regular season ends in a triumph or a heartbreak, it won’t be due to a lack of experience. 

Among the 13 rostered players on the 2022-23 Women’s Basketball team, eight are in their fifth or sixth collegiate season. That’s compared to the two graduate students out of 11 players from the 2021-2022 season. 

Women’s Basketball head coach Joe Tartamella will rely on seasoned and experienced players to get the job done this season. 

The team has suffered key losses in upperclassmen Leilani Correa, Camree Clegg, Emma Nolan and Sophia Nolan. Correa, who earned All-Big East First Team honors, left a gaping hole in leadership and starpower for the Johnnies. 

With a team of six new faces and a roster filled with graduate students, Tartamella looks to the team’s new and veteran fifth and sixth year players to lead the team to their hopes of a postseason berth. 

Danielle Patterson, a sixth-year player who suits up at guard and forward, notes the veteran team’s sense of urgency. “A lot of us here are older, and for some of us this is our last year,” Patterson said. “Just to be able to get to the tournament, because some of us haven’t been there yet and some people really want that.”

“I think we have a lot of leadership this year, especially with the new transfers coming in,” said fifth-year forward Rayven Peeples. “I feel like we have a lot of pieces this year to put something together and be successful.”

Tartamella’s unwavering confidence in the team’s experience brings a sense of hope for the 2022-2023 season. “We addressed a lot of the areas of need that we had in the offseason. I’m really excited to see what we are going to do this year,” Tartamella said at St. John’s media day. “We continue to get better every day. This group has continued to grow each and every day.”

This season introduces key addition Mimi Reid, a sixth-year SEC product. The Ole Miss transfer led the Rebelsin assists and steals, earning a top-ten spot in assists in the SEC. Reid quickly has become a leader for the team and is excited to bring her skills to Queens. 

The sixth-year brings her extensive basketball resumé to Carnesecca Arena and hopes to continue to be a standout in her final season. “In my final year of eligibility, I want to be able to show my veteran status and my experience to put on for New York City,” Reid said. 

While the spotlight shines on the transfers, the returners have just as much, if not more, to offer. Patterson cited her team’s adaptability and willingness to adjust to the changes that come their way. 

Danielle Patterson hopes for a memorable last season with her teammates.
Torch Photo / Sara Kiernan

“This team really clicks together, even off the court when we’re in the locker room. When we’re together you can feel the energy,” Patterson said. “As far as on the court, we’ve just been working on going hard and stacking W’s every practice, and that really helps us come together as a team.” 

Fifth-year player Kadaja Bailey has also stepped into the coveted leadership position for the Red Storm. The guard has shown improvement each year and her contributions have not been lost on the team. 

“Her maturity level has improved every year, which has also translated to her level of play. In my view, she should have been the most improved player in our league last year,” Joe Tartamella said. “I think she’s primed to show her ability to be an All-Big East player this year. I think she’s earned that right.”

When a majority of the team consists of upperclassmen, the women cherish the ability to mentor the younger players. 

“It’s a privilege to be able to guide our freshmen and sophomores, and just show them what it takes to get to the level that they want to be at one day,” said fifth-year player Danielle Cosgrove. 

The Women’s Basketball team, with big name transfers and established players, has given Tartamella and his team reason to be hopeful. The team plays its first game against Monmouth on Nov. 7 at 1 p.m. in Carnesecca Arena.